Topic 1: Privacy, Social Presence and Human Centered Learning

In this weeks reading by Regan and Jesse on the ethical challenges of Edtech, the author’s raise 6 individual ethical concerns that are wrapped up in the term “privacy”. These concerns are;

  1. Information Privacy
  2. Anonymity
  3. Surveillance
  4. Autonomy
  5. Non-discrimination
  6. Ownership of Information

As Regan and Jesse point out, using a blanket term to encompass all concerns about online safety runs the risk of oversimplifying the issue. Much of the online world is invisible, which means it can be all too easy to just click a box and assume that all the concerns lumped under “privacy” are being considered and respected. The authors argue that each aspect of privacy needs to be examined separately and equally when bringing technology into the classroom, because it isn’t only it’s effectiveness that matters, but also the ethics surrounding it. By addressing each aspect of privacy with my students I will be guiding them towards a safe and positive online presence, a necessary 21st century skill.

Check out Commonsense.org for some great lesson plans to “practice safe habits and stay safe online”.

The second article Dickers (2018), Social Interaction in K-12 Online Learning examined the importance of “the social” in the meaning making process. The idea that learning is social comes from Lev Vygotsky’s Social Constructivism theory, below is a short explanation (watch the whole video for a great overview of the 4 essential learning theories).

As Dikkers (2018) points out, learning environments have expanded beyond the traditional face-to-face model to a blended model, and just like “brick and mortar” settings the social aspect “is foundational to online learning”. Recently, Covid 19 has made a completely online classroom environment the only option, making curating a “social presence” and incorporating a Constructivist framework into learning design more relevant than ever .

Through research Whiteside and Dikkers (2015) proposed a Social Presence model to “influence and guide individuals meaning making process”. The 5 aspects are;

  1. Affective Association- How teachers and students show emotion online
  2. Community Cohesion – Seeing the class as a community
  3. Instructor Involvement – How teacher shows involvement in student learning
  4. Interaction Intensity – What ways and how often students interact
  5. Knowledge and Experience – ways students share their prior knowledge and experiences with course content

In Dr. Roberts blog post for this weeks topic, she references the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, which also has a social presence component. This framework can also be referenced when designing an online learning environment.

Downloadable PDF from https://coi.athabascau.ca/coi-model/

Dr. Roberts also suggests designing for Human Centered Learning, learning that:

  • Emphasize positive communications and relationship development
  • Co-design well-being supports with the individuals and communities affected by them
  • Broaden definitions of success to reflect a holistic view of human development
  • Broaden learner supports to include more individuals, roles and organizations
  • Restructure education to encourage connection, cross-curricular integration and meaning
  • Broaden curricula to address honest historical truths

While doing a bit of research to deepen my own understanding of how to build an online environment using Constructivist principles, I came across the following video that explains two offshoots of Constructivism; Cooperative and Collaborative learning.

When designing curriculum it is always handy to have some strategies to build around. Check out Neil’s blog on 10 Cooperative Learning Strategies and Edtech tools to go with them. As well as Jessica Mckeown’s blog post Grow Beyond Group Work for some Collaborative strategies.

Garrett Dickers, A. (2018) Social Interaction in K-12 Online Learning. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 509-522 ). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Regan, P., & Jesse, J. (2019). Ethical challenges of edtech, big data and personalized learning: Twenty-first century student sorting and tracking. Ethics and Information Technology, 21(3), 167-179. DOI: 10.1007/s10676-018-9492-2 

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